Category Archives: My Life

Late Night Anyone?

So…I was kind of being a jerk last night…well…not kind of…I was.  But, my wife loves me and we can’t stay mad…oooeyyy goooeeeyyy mushy stuff. I think we’ve all been there?

About 11:30 this came out. I love it when a song comes quickly. Not a finished product at all…but here it is so far. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Still – By Jesse Peterson (If the audio player isn’t working)

Audio Player –

Recorded it this afternoon using the onboard mic on my IMac. Quick and dirty…no retakes. Added a little synth but thats all. Took about 30 minutes so forgive any pitch or timing mistakes. I wasn’t looking to make anything professional.

Lyrics below. Peace.


This pain I feel
I know its real
it’s growing deep inside
A dull drumbeat
Of hearts asleep
I cannot clock its time
The words cut deep
to my soul
But…still I love you
Still I love you
Still I love you…
The words I speak
Feel harsh and bleek
I say them anyways
With draining pow’r
I mark this hour
As one I will regret
My words cut deep
To your soul
We say words that
Make no sense
Act in ways that
Breed intense…ly
broken memories

Life changes…

I’m changing the focus of this site for awhile. It has been great to talk and share my thoughts about worship leading here…but I think I have shared enough…for now. Don’t worry…I am sure there will be plenty more to write about as time goes on. But life is changing…and I need a challenge that doesn’t involve weekly service planning meetings and practices.

I love leading worship. I love music and creativity and I feed off of those who are far better than I am at it.  I am by far not the best worship leader or musician out there but there is something that has eluded me out there I have not yet accomplished. It is a full marathon. I will be writing about running…if you can believe it 😉

I watched this documentary about marathons and tonight…it has pushed me over the edge. Sitting here overweight and a little bored…I find strength in the stories of these people who accomplished a full marathon in Chicago.

Right now, I am an unemployed…volunteer worship leader. I am trying to find my way. My definition. I am yearning for direction and significance. I do not believe I will become something different by running 26.2 miles.

But, I do believe that dedicating myself to something as strenuous as running for that long will change me. It will continue to create the story I began to write at the beginning of this year. I started this year unemployed and lost after my wife and I suffered a miscarriage. But life changes things.

She is pregnant now…with a boy…and he looks as healthy as ever. I love him already. He will be born in January…and that is not soon enough.

I have never run a race alone. My wife has been with me all the way…for a 5K and 2 half marathons…but this time…she cannot run with me. This one is for me…for the future of my family. I cannot rely on her speed or training partnership. I will be pushing this alone…sort of. I know she will be with me in spirit, and knowing my boy is right there with her…gives me strength.

So here is my plan. I am going to run the Big Sur half marathon in November. I will then run the full marathon in Napa in March 2011. My boy will be 1 ½  months old. I am already excited to see him at the finish line.

I know my family health history and I will do my best to help my boy stay away from the pitfalls of being a Peterson. Diabetes and being overweight runs rampant in my family line and I will do my best to pass on strength and a fighting ability on to my boy. I am not disappointed in my family line…but I aim to change its path. I will run for my own story and the stories of many Peterson’s to come.

Below is the link to the documentary that finally pushed me over the edge and some great lines from the movie:

Spirit of the Marathon on…awesome.

“People run the marathon to prove that there is still triumph and there is still possibility in their lives.”

“The marathon is the sort of the search for the Holy Grail that we’re all after. I think it’s a journey that we’re on.  It’s not necessarily a destination of just getting from the start line to the finish line. And I think that what people learn over the course of the training for the marathon is every bit as important as what they learn on the day of the race itself.”

Quick Update on life and…

Whoa…been way too long since I posted here…sorry about that!

2 things to read below:

1. For the next week…

2. What’s going on in my life…just in case you were wondering.

 1. I have been talking with quite a few people lately who are wanting to be worship leaders. They have musical ability…they are wonderful people…and they want to learn.

So…for the next week…I am going to place another “Blog a Day” about some more thoughts on worship leading. Mostly logistics…so check in if you are interested 😉

2 – Ahhh life. Well…some interesting stuff going on.

First off, I am back into leading worship on a regular basis and I am so stoked to be doing so! I was in the process of interviewing with a church offering a full time job in the area but it just didn’t work out. The process took its time…as it most always does…and during that time, I realized how much I had missed leading worship on a more consistent basis. I filled in a few weekends at a church in Rocklin called “Grace Rocklin” and Joanna and I both fell in love with the people and the church. 

There isn’t cash in the church budget to support a hire right now but Joanna and I are in a good spot. We love the people there and they have been completely supportive and loving of us too. It’s great to be in a place we love again…and I am so thankful to be leading worship.

  • We’re still trying for another baby (refer to earlier posts) and so…we’d love your prayers for success. 
  • My cat is on a diet…which subsequently means she is much nicer to everyone…who knew?
  • Still on unemployment. It’s all good…so glad I can get the checks!
  • I ran my 2nd Half Marathon and I finished it under 2 hours! Joanna beat me again…but I still feel great about the time!
  • My best friend moved from hell aka…Arizona…(sorry AZ folks) and now he and his beautiful family are just over an hour’s drive from my house.
  • My mom and sister flew down and supprised me…I got to meet my new nephew and he is so sweet. I love him.
  • My 10 year High School reunion is in  July and I am stoked to reconnect with old friends.

So…that’s about it. Life is good…living tight and writing a much better story this year for my life.

Thanks for reading! Jesse.

Reaching out…

Wading through life’s murky waters, we are often presented with situations that are neither black or white….but grey. Each day we are presented with situations and decisions to make and every day I pray for wisdom.

Right now…if you have been following me on this blog or on Facebook…you probably know that I have some big decisions coming up…or at least that I have to make some choices.

I am unemployed…looking to get back into ministry full time and trying to discern the future. I am trying to clearly hear God’s voice in the midst of the decisions and choices.

I feel like Elijah…waiting inside the cave…waiting to hear God’s voice. There is thunder…rumbling, fire and many other noises outside and yet God is not among the noise.

I would love your clarity and insight. How do you make life decisions…the big ones. Outside of the obvious prayer times…how do you clearly discern God’s voice?

Honestly, I am asking for your perspective and wisdom…will you comment?

Love. Jesse.

Hold on lightly…

I was sitting in a service last Sunday morning with a very stirred soul…trying to make sense of my present situations and wondering what the future will hold. I began to be drawn in by a pastor telling his story. He talked about his first few years in ministry and he quoted John Maxwell with something I will not soon forget:

“Take hold tightly, let go lightly.” This is the essence of non-identification. It is loving fully in the moment and being prepared to release at any moment.”

My hands and mind had been gripping tightly around my present/future and they did not want to release what little control they had. In doing so…I had become fixated and closed to what might happen today…tomorrow…and in the future.

As I heard this quote, it sparked something inside of me as I realized I had been finding my identity in the sense of my control. I had not been looking for the blessings of the moment, the people around me or the journey that God has me on. I was gripping on to confusion with all I had…no wonder I could not feel settled.

I decided at that moment to simply open my hands. I did so physically in the service as the pastor was talking. Trying not to draw too much attention to myself…I kept them low while promising God I would hold it lightly...all of it.

I would take this day as a blessing and love the moment I am in…more importantly…I would love the people around me. Holding things lightly does not mean being extremely laid back or lazy. For me, it means that I take extreme purpose in the moments that I am given and cherish the fact that that what I have is simply a gift.

I pray today that you can begin to take your situation lightly. Treat it with gentle care as if it were a precious gift and gain the perspective that your identity does not come from your future, your past or your present. Your identity comes from the love of God and how it shapes your life.

Blessings. Jesse.

Running man…running plan…

Some people have asked me how I am training for the half marathon in March. Well…it’s a mix of a few routines that I have found online and training that I did in preparation for my last one. My body is responding well to the training and so this is a bit accelerated.

Moving from the couch to the street can cause a lot of stress so the exercises listed below are usually for 2 weeks at a time. I am moving them to 1 week each because of my timeline.

Some thoughts on training for a long distance race:

  • Set a date. Pay the money and commit yourself or you are just going to find reasons to back out.
  • Be careful to train too long for a race. Training for 6 months is admirable, but you could finish a half marathon right now if you wanted to. You might not finish quickly, but you could finish…walking and panting.
  • Be careful to train too quickly. If you try to do too much early on…your body will hate you for it. You will pull a muscle, sprain an ankle or something else…not fun.
  • Push yourself  a bit…just not at first. If this is your first long distance run…most will say that you don’t want to go the whole distance in training. Finishing your first long distance race is exhilarating. If you are going for a half marathon…run up to 12 miles in your training…but not the whole 13. Trust me…that first finish is not one you will forget.
  • Stretch! Your new muscles will need the release and the tired joints and tendons will thank you. Stretch before and after. This will help you to not get hurt in the training.
  • Try to have fun…at first…it will not feel like fun, but I promise you that after just a month or so of training…the runs will begin to feel amazing
  • Get a running partner! Someone who will push you and keep you accountable. It’s too easy to quit if you are doing it on your own. Find someone who can be strong when you are weak.

Here is how I am training for 8 weeks to get my body back into shape to run a half marathon:

Week Days Time
1 M, W, F 2 minutes walking/4 minutes jogging = 30 minutes.
1 Saturday Jog 4 miles
2 M, W, F 1 minute walking/5 minutes jogging = 30 minutes.
2 Saturday Jog 5 miles
3 M, W, F 2 minutes walking/8 minutes jogging = 30 minutes
3 Saturday Jog 6 miles
4 M, W, F 1 minute walking/9 minutes jogging = 30 minutes
4 Saturday Jog 7 miles
5 M, W, F Jog continuously for 3-4 miles
5 Saturday Jog 8 miles
6 M, W, F Jog continuously for 5 miles
6 Saturday Jog 10 miles
7 M, W, F Jog continuously for 6 miles
7 Saturday Jog 12 miles
8 M, W, F Jog continuously for 3-4 miles
8 Saturday Jog 8 miles

Here are some other thoughts on training:

Runners World Half Marathon Training

Hal Higdon Training Programs

Have fun! Jesse.

Transformation holmes…

I used to be 290 pounds. There it is.

I began to shed some weight starting August of 2007. Once a month, I would get onto a plane to visit a doctor in Scottsdale, AZ. Five hours of flight time for 30 minutes of her telling me…keep it up.

The diet consisted of lean proteins and vegetables…that’s it. No carbs, no dairy, no sugars…some supplements and that’s it. It wasn’t much. There were blood tests every two weeks and to say the least…it was a bit tough.

But, I had determined that enough was enough. Yeah…that’s me…on the right…the karaoke champion with amazing shorts. I knew I was slowly killing myself by carrying around all those extra pounds. I had determined it was time for a transformation. By January of 2008…I had lost quite a bit of weight. 98 pounds. And that is when the transformation began…not when it ended.

In 2008, I ran a 5K…and then a half marathon. I needed the running to keep off the weight. I needed the activity to continue training this new body I felt like I had been given. It has not been easy and keeping the weight off continues to be a struggle. But, I am determined…to continue the transformation.

I do not write this post to give myself a pat on the back and it’s not easy to talk about publicly because there are so many emotions wrapped up with the process.

I write this post to ask if you are looking for a transformation this New Year? Is the transformation you are looking for physical…emotional…spiritual? If so, know that your story…your struggle and your endurance through the process can be inspiring to others…and will be inspiring to me.

I have planned to run another half marathon in March this year. It’s crazy, cause I hate running…but it’s a story. One more compelling than the story of an out of work worship leader who watches too much HULU or spends too much time on Facebook.

What’s your story this year? What transformation are you headed for? Will you share your life story this year in hopes of inspiring another?

I hope so. I hope you share it with me.

Love you friends. Jesse.